charity: water’s People & Culture team cut down interruptions to get productive time back using Spoke






Jordan Hunter
Office Experience Manager

Jordan Hunter is the Office Experience Manager at charity: water, a non-profit based in New York. Her team, People & Culture, used to receive many interruptions for really simple questions from employees, even though many of the answers lived in documents in the organization’s Google Drive. Since they’ve adopted Spoke, employee self-service has taken off, dramatically improving productivity for People & Culture and giving them deeper insights into employee needs.

At charity: water, the People & Culture team takes care of employees and owns the day-to-day employee experience. That includes HR, payroll, benefits, office management, and more.

As a critical internal support team, People & Culture receives a lot of employee questions and requests, mostly via walk-ups and Slack. Even after consolidating the answers to many, frequent questions into widely-accessible documents in Google Drive, employees still interrupted the staff on People & Culture for even the simplest of matters.

As Jordan Hunter, the Office Experience Manager, puts it:

“We want to be as personable and approachable as possible. But more or less the questions were like, ‘How do I ship things here?’, ‘Where can I find this?’, or ‘When’s open enrollment?” Questions that had really quick answers.”

Google Drive is inherently disorganized in most organizations, and employees need to know just the right keyword to get the search function to work. charity: water employees didn’t want to go digging around to find what they needed when pinging someone on the support team was faster and easier.

Unfortunately, all those simple questions piled up, taking away People & Culture’s attention from the projects that make charity: water an even better place to work.

“Our goal was a way for staff to get those quick answers and for us to be out of the picture for those things. We could answer ourselves, but if the answer was someplace employees could help themselves, that would be even better.”

Finding a solution to encourage employee self-service

Hearing about Spoke following an industry event, Jordan decided to trial Spoke, hoping that it would encourage charity: water’s employees to practice more self-service.

“When I showed Spoke to my team, some of the comments were, ‘I didn’t know something like this could exist’ and ‘How does this AI work, this is amazing!’”

After seeing promising results from Spoke in terms of eliminating interruptions from quick employee questions, Jordan considered the full scope of Spoke’s potential value proposition for charity: water. Spoke’s simplicity, tight integration with Slack, and attentive customer support ended up making the purchase decision easy:

“It’s very intuitive to use. The integration with Slack is huge, because we live and die on Slack. I feel like I can email my customer success manager, Riciel, with anything at any time.”

Like all non-profits, charity: water also enjoyed a 30% discount on Spoke’s normal pricing.

Enjoying more productivity and deeper insights into employee needs

So how are Jordan and the People & Culture team at charity: water faring with Spoke today?

“People are being helped by Spoke and we’re not even involved in the process most of the time. I’m able to be more productive because I’m not answering those one-off questions. It’s given me time back in my day. I’d say two hours a week. It’s been so great not getting interrupted and not having a switch gears so much.

Spoke has been so successful that Jordan’s team has made introducing Spoke part of the new employee onboarding process.

Not only has Spoke improved the adoption of employee self-service and reduced the frequency of interruptions plaguing the People & Culture team, it’s had some unexpected benefits, as well.

Using Spoke has given Jordan insights into the patterns of questions and requests her team receives, helping her identify new ways to improve the employee experience.

“As an admin, I’m looking at all these requests. I’m like, why do people keep asking questions about this particular thing? Maybe we need to be better at communicating that.”

Now other teams within charity: water are seeing the results and getting excited about Spoke.

“Our finance team is excited about Spoke because they’re often pinged with questions like, ‘What is this process, again?’ or ‘How do I get reimbursed?’ That’s all in there now.”

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